“Generally, most of us do not like to work out and create excuses not to. We like the results and good health that exercise provide us, but we don’t want to do the work to get there,” says Scott Chesney, a T7 paraplegic. He states that we must remind ourselves how exercising will make us feel afterward, not necessarily right away, but in the short and long term.
“We must remind ourselves of the weight that we want to lose, that wardrobe we want to wear, the stamina we want to get through the day and most importantly, that knowingness that we are taking care of ourselves.”
Scott interviewed Karyn Baig, a licensed physical therapist, and a certified yoga instructor, to help people better understand the importance of exercise and fitness while living with a mobility disability.
Karen states, “There are greater risks of cardiovascular complications with people with mobility issues. The loss of lean mass affects your metabolism and makes you very prone to significant weight gain and sometimes obesity. You have to find ways to move.”
Workout From Home
While working out at a gym would be an ideal situation, Karen gives some examples of workouts one can accomplish at home. “Some people can do work with Therabands, dumbbells, chair push-ups, and even a tabletop ergometer,” she says.
“You gotta put the “fun” in “functional.””
To make your workouts fun Karen suggests playing a game console like the Wii. She states, “The Wii is a great workout, helps you to get a good cardiovascular workout, and can put you in a great social position with family and friends.”
Karen recommends doing yoga to complement your workout routine. She says, “We need to cool it down from time to time. Stretching out tight tissue due to spasticity can really help people with mobility disabilities. Adaptive yoga can certainly help and should be integrated into one’s daily routine. Yoga is a great stress reliever and relaxer.”
Karyn suggests the following for your workout routine:
- Incorporate yoga or adaptive yoga into your daily routine. “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
- Exercise daily – 30 minutes per day at a minimum
- Get outside and exercise…swimming, wheelchair sports, handcycling, etc.
To check out Scott’s entire blog post about exercise and fitness click here!